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Council under fire over cholera

Harare residents have blamed the cholera outbreak that has killed five people and left at least 100 others hospitalised on neglect by government and the local authority.

By Phyllis Mbanje

Charles Dluni (35), who lives close to Glen view’s Tichagarika shopping centre — believed to be an epicentre of the outbreak — lost a nephew, Petrus Mandaza, and wants council to take responsibility for the death.

Dluni said last Tuesday he received a phone call from a friend alerting him that Mandaza was vomiting and had severe diarrhoea.

“We did not suspect anything at the time because no one knew that the dreadful disease was at play,” he said.

“I went to see him and just assumed that as someone who loved his beer, he might have been suffering from the aftermath of a drinking spree.”

After making sure that Mandaza had plenty of water, Dluni left for his usual hustling at the shopping centre only to receive a panicky phone call a few hours later.

“They told me that some children from the area had found Mandaza lying just by the door with his legs hanging out. He was already gone.”

Dluni said council had exposed them to cholera by failing to ensure residents had a continuous supply of clean water, timely collection of garbage and proper structures for vendors.

“We are not happy about this and let me warn those who have the power, if you do not take responsibility and address this issue, we will take the matter into our own hands,” he said.

Dluni said they were prepared as a community to clean up their area if they get the necessary equipment.

Other residents blamed the food vendors for the outbreak, saying they had poor hygienic practices.

Lancewet Mutanga and Takudzwa Phepha said they want the food vendors to be relocated.

“The whole idea of food being prepared under these conditions is wrong,” Mutanga said.

“They should demolish these structures and maybe erect proper ones with running water or ban them completely.”

Joseph Makamanzi said council’s failure to collect garbage was the cause of the cholera outbreak.

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